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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  January 14, 2015 1:00pm-3:01pm EST

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nce, he said mitch mcconnell says he wants the republicans to not be scary between now and 2016. he wants to set the table for the republican nominee in 2016 by demonstrating that the republicans are capable of governing. and uses the phrase, we don't want to be scary. well, what is he talking about? he's talking about the tea party. in 20 10, the wave election of the people saying we don't like what is going on in washington with the democrats in complete control of the presidency and both houses of congress, we want a change, the people said that, there are a lot of folks riding that wave with some that were pretty scary. and here i am a senate figure,
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they cost us republicans three senate seats. we were poised to win nevada delaware and colorado where the incumbents delaware wasn't an incumbent, but mike cassell was running and he's tremendously popular, the tea party came in, the people did not participate in the primaries to the degree they should have, and the tea party nominated unelectable nominees in all three states and handed the democrats three seats they would not have otherwise had. in 2012 they handed the democrats three more with scary candidates. in 2010 it was the candidate who ran her campaign first televised ad saying, i am not a witch. that's a really, really jaunty
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catchy kind of political platform to run on. and then the other guy in 2012 was talking about legitimate rape, another political position i would recommend any of you thinking of being candidates you should avoid being in favor of that kind of thing. add it all up if we had those -- we republicans this those six seats from the two previous elections, plus where we are now with 54 we would be at 60. the republicans would be filibuster proof. can you understand why mitch mcconnell is saying we don't want to be scary going into 2016? now, this is the same mitch mcconnell who said, and the democrats and the left media have been beating him up on this ever since he said it, when they
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said to him, back in 2009 what is your primary goal he said my primary goal is to see to it that barack obama be a one-term president. oh, that's terrible. what did you expect him to say as a republican leader? my goal is to re-elect barack obama? no they got all tangled up about the extremes. the people's reaction in the various elections are causing an intelligent, thoughtful political leader to say we have got to move away from the extreme position. with all of the appropriatement that harry reid took for the decisions he made for which the democrats paid in terms of the election result in 2014 referring to what secretary glickman said in the lame duck,
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who was there on the democratic side leading the effort to make sure we got regular order done and the appropriations process handled in an intelligent manner. harry reid. harry reid and mitch mcconnell two old pros sitting down in the senate saying the election is over, we have to govern we have to solve the problem. and harry reid, however much he deserved how we have been beaten up by the republicans for what he did previously now says okay, mitch, how do we work this out and make this happen? and it was very, very interesting to see how they made it happen. in the senate it was harry reid and mitch mcconnell working together. in the house, it was john boehner and steny hoyer. because nancy pelosi said i don't want no part of it. and steny hoyer, the number two
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democrat was saying, nancy we have to govern. and who was there with the two from the senate and the two from the house that were trying to make it work, making phone calls to members of his party saying will you please get in line and help out? barack obama. barack obama making common calls with john boehner and mitch mcconnell. because the people had sent the message that they wanted things to start to work again. and that's where you come in. because you're the people. and what you do to get more folks to participate in intelligent ways is what this effort on the part of the bpc is
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all about. america first nation to set itself up on the basis yes, separation of powers, yes, gridlock ultimate source of power, the people. we had all kinds of problems we made all kinds of mistakes, our history is filled with blunders and a lot of things that are really embarrassing. we muddled through the decades and now the centuries to have produced the strongest most resilient, most diverse most powerful economy and/@>chtááv the world has ever known. and i'm a polly anna guy who says we're going to continue to muddle through just fine. >> i guess if i made this comment two things, one is, you
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know mentioned i have a background in the movie industry, so you have to see "cem" "selma" if you haven't seen it yet. it is very important movie, because it reinforces what the senator was saying, the ultimate power of the people have is the power to vote. without that power, they use every other power, power to have equal treatment of the law lack of power to influence law enforcement, all those other kinds of things i think it is important. i think one question you ought to ask yourself however, is that without leaders acting like leaders, how resilient can our political system be? because you're looking at two folks who in the legislative process lost and i can speak to senator bennett who is an
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extraordinary leader who had his country's interest first and hopefully i did the same way. and -- but for leaders to be leaders, it means leaders have to risk losing. it is not -- congress is never designed to be a permanent job with seniority and tenure protections. and so for the political system to work, you need leaders that need to bible to act like that and get members to respond accordingly. >> let's talk about congress a little bit. you two serve, both of you, 18 years, in the house and the senate. last two congresses, i venture a guess have been nothing like when you were serving there. what's different? what happened? >> well, in the senate harry reid made a conscious decision
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as the majority leader to protect his vulnerable members. the senate as you know, only elects a third of its members every election. it is a six-year term and every two years a third of them are up. you know in advance who is up in the following year and harry looked ahead to the 2014 election, which was the consequences of the election six years previous, and six years previous had been a very good election for the democrats and he had an awful lot of democrats up for re-election and only a few republicans. and he said to himself, self,
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the republicans are going to be offering a whole bunch of amendments tos33bb every piece of legislation that comes on the floor. that will create a serieses of sof tough votes because i'll have to have them vote these amendments down, president obama will want them to vote these amendments down, the republicans will cast the amendments in the most attractive terms. so every amendment that is voted on will result in a 30-second commercial in the 2014 election saying dan glickman voted against motherhood and apple pie. without the specifics of the mother hood -- >> i never voted against apple pie. so he has the authority as the majority leader to determine what bills come on the floor.
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majority leader is the traffic cop who says this bill can be voted on this one i will not bring up. i won't bore you with the details of how that works but that's how it works. so he made the decision for partisan electoral purposes that he was going to protect his members from all of these controversial votes. the only trouble with that is, if you do that, you don't get any bills on the floor. that's an exaggeration. but basically the senate that i knew and served in we would bring uptá bills. there would be amendments from the opposing party depending on who was in charge. you take a tough vote be prepared to lose. it was the right thing for the
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country you take a tough vote and the process goes forward. harry said let's try this to see if we can protect all of these vulnerable democrats from tough votes. turned out it was a mistake. because all of the vulnerable democrats he was trying to protect got beaten up in their campaign for not having done anything. and when they did vote they always voted with the administration so they got these 30 second ads saying kay hagan votes with barack obama 97% of the time. so if you live in north carolina, and you don't like barack obama how do you express that? you express that by voting against kay hagan. that's the way it has been done, it started before harry.
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the other majority leaders have tried that. but it came to a climax in the last two years to the point that i had members of the senate say to me, wonderful conversation with a senior liberal democrat who said tell me about your life. tell me about your week. now that you're out, what have you done last week? well, i was at bpc i was at -- so form. he he said, you want to know my week? we have been in quorum call all week. and the senate has done nothing. for all week, we haven't been allowed to be on the floor. mitch mcconnell said when it looked as if he might be the new leader, and lamar told us this, he said i promise if i become the majority leader, we will have amendable motions on the
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floor, and i warned my republican colleagues you will have to take tough votes. i will run the senate the way my command field ran the senate, back in the days following lyndon johnson. and lamar said we in the republican conference said to him, mitch if you do not do that, we will get a new leader. we insist that you go back to that, even though it means exposure for us. now, again, the people spoke in 2014, and now i think harry thinks, well i made a mistake. i happen to like harry reid he's been a good friend and a very great help for me back in the days when across the aisle you could -- you could do that.
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i think harry made a decision, it seemed logical to him, he made a decision now by virtue of what he did in the lame duck to say, well, let's try something else. >> i agree with everything senator said. i would add a couple of things. i came to the house in 1976, i ran against an incumbent republican congressman, beat him and spent $100,000, total on my race primary in general. today, that race would cost at least $5 million, and who knows how much outside money would come to the race from places you never even heard of before. so what is that practically mean? well it means that as an elected official, you spend most of your time raising money. i used to spend a lot of time on the house floor just going down and listening what john dingell said or what some other -- henry hyde, you name the person if i did that now as a member i
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would be guilty of malpractice and they would ship me out of the place, what are you doing listening, not raising money? what is wrong with you? that's a big change. just imagine what a profound change that is to your life. if nothing else it diminishes the ability of an individual member to kind of become part of the political process. and+0yk&rhat's an enormous change. i would say that as young member of congress back in the '70s and '80s, the process was much more open. so i was giving the ability to amend bills, open rules. this is a process by which you can have an impact on the legislative process. i recall one bill after three mile island, any of you from pennsylvania in this room? remember the three mile island nuclear accident? i offered -- i offered an amend to require full time inspectors from the federal government. nuclear regulatory commission, every nuclear power plant in the
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country. as a freshman, that was a big important thing, gave me a role in the political process. that's been very difficult to do in recent years. both parties have closed the process down for individual members. it is much tougher in the house because in the senate, one senator can still have great power in opening or shutting down the institution, but the house, 435, and the rules of the house kind of give this leadership, especially the speaker and the leaders much more power vis-a-vis the institution and the senate where they still have 100 equals that gjev8iát to manage that process. now, not withstanding that, as we talked about the last couple of months of the last session, people did work together better. and there are more open rules in the house in the last, you know few months than we saw before and that was good. and the president who himself did not really engage congress very much, and as a democrat regretted president didn't
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engage the congress very much at all, you know? and he needed to much more the last couple of months he seems to be engaging the congress much more. and you see that in the -- even in the mitch mcconnell state, wanting to work with the president much more. so there may be some optimistic things that are happening that the system will work better. the money thing is a real problem. whether it influences policy or not is a question mark because we're probably always -- we had a former speaker of the house named sam rayburn. there are probably 30 fund-raisers just today or tomorrow for people, you know. again, that's unique. and we got to figure out how to deal with that problem, constitutionally and in such a way so that the -- what it does is squeezes out average people
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who aren't part of pacs and aren't part of the fund-raising system. notwithstanding, there are some positive trends happening now because i think that the elected officials understand the people are frustrated, government doesn't seem to be moving on things like immigration, roads, sewers infrastructure, tax reform, trade. and they want to see something happening here and so that's where the system is reasonably resilient, even with all the problems we talk about. >> let's switch gears to something you talk about earlier. and talk about electoral reform, something the commission focused on a lot. something you have a lot of experience with. i think both parties seem to be convinced that the other party is engaged in this systematic rigging of the system against that -- or in the other's party says the same thing about their own party they have gerrymandering, we haven't been
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able to do anything about campaign finance reform, the way primaries work it is all in a way to gain the system from one party's benefit against the other. one thing the commission focused on was on primaries. you know, recommendation of a national primary day. what was the thought process behind that? why do we think we need one day? >> you're the classic example. primaries and caucuses and -- >> yeah, i -- i lost my seat in the senate without ever getting my name on the ballot. the system in utah sets up a party convention that screens candidates for the primary. and all of the polls showed that if i had been in the primary, i would have won renomination quite handily i had a 70% approval rating among republicans. i was down from '95 i had had previously because the tea party
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hated me for supporting george w. bush on immigration. and supporting george w. bush on t.a.r.p. i'm a republican. this is a republican president. he happens to be right on both instances. it was six years a bw k governor dealing with the border economy, he understands the immigration problem better than i do living in an interior state in utah and i'm going to vote with him on immigration. but the tea party types all insisted they knew more about the immigration issue than any border state governor. and the convention kept me off the primary ballot under utah law. i don't tell you that to gain your sympathy because they did me a huge favor. i would have been so frustrated in the four years i've just
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described that i would be saying why in the world am i wasting my time doing this? but the point is the founding fathers did not give us any constitutional basis for regulation and political parties. they didn't like political parties, they were hoping there wouldn't be any political parties. the reason abigail adams said nasty things about thomas jefferson is she accused him of being a party man. which, of course, he was. the founder of our first political party. and today's terms it wasn't much of a party. but it did some very interesting things that the party liked to do, the principled party voice was the newspaper that he got the federal government to pay the publisher for. we do not have any
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constitutionalzw basis for regulating8j (nd>÷ political parties. consequently all of our political law is a combination of state law and party rules. in utah, the party has made the decision they're going to have a convention and state law allows it it. in california, they abolished the primary system that i knew when we lived in california and replaced it with what they call the jungle primary. which is very different from louisiana, where mary landrieu won the plurality in the primary and by most state law that would have been enough for her to win re-election, but in louisiana, she has to have a runoff in order to get 50%. and that's different than the party primary in michigan.
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so one of the challenges we this is reparg the omissionwe omission of the writers of the constitution and ask ourselves do we want a federal system controlling the nomination process for president, and dictating to the states the nomination process whereby parties get their nominees to the final bow. i think that would be a good idea. it would mean amending the constitution, which i don't like, i voted against constitutional amendments just on general principles because i think the constitution is pretty much fine the way it is. but on this one, i would support some kind of careful analysis of
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how we recognize in a modern and national state a political process that makes sense. because we don't have one now. >> i would make two additional points. number one i think the average voter turnout in primaries is less than 20% between 15% and 20%. so imagine 15% of the voters are choosing who your congressman is. and then that goes to the life that most congressional districts are gerrymandered or at least districted in such a way so they favor one party or the other. so there are not very many competitive seats anymore in the congress maybe 10%. or whatever. states are a little different because you got the whole state, so -- >> you can't redraw state lines. at least not today.
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there are a few state that split their states up. so the redistricting process is something we talk about in our report. there ought to be a way to redistrict states a little more on rational basis rather than you've seen the way some districts look like to make sure all the republicans are put into one district all the:#dc democrats are put into another district so they become very safe districts. and what is this -- beyond being disenfranchised a lot of voters if you're a democrat and republican state republican seat that is 70/30, you don't have quite the ability to influence your congressman than if there were somewhat closer. but what it does tend to do is encourages people on the extremes to control political process. so the right, the tea party, will control the political process and redistricting for the republicans. and the left will do the same in many cases on the democratic side. so several states, iowa, california, and others are -- ohio is looking at this from a
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legislative perspective, want to see if we can can find different ways to redistrict rather than just letting the people who are elected do the redistricting, after all the people choose their elected officials, not the elected officials who choose their people, which is the way we have our political system now. i think that would help. that is one of our reforms and the national primary are ways to get more people to vote in primaries. primaries are confusing to a lot of voters. a lot of them don't know when it is happening. that certainly is another thing we looked at. and the final thing, i'm not sure again what we can do about this, because it is a whole question, the money is raised in politics, where does it go? 80% of it goes into advertising. most of the advertising is mother hood and apple pie. most of it is your opponent is a criminal, he's disgusting, he does terrible things, and you can't possibly vote for him.
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so that's kind of been around you multiply by ten the amount of money in the political system, you get ten times that kind of scurrilous advertising. so it turns voters off. and so we don't seem to get new voters to come to the polls. should be younger voters, or not, you know he, encourage -- i don't know how people in this audience are interested in hearing that kind of thin. the political system doesn't encourage a lot of people to participate because of what they see is involved in the campaign process, which discourages turnout, which is -- encourages more of the extremes of the base to be the ones that primarily vote. and that's a problem. that's something we tried to address in our report. >> sounds like between the -- those two and what we talked about in congressional reform would agree that it seems to be happening is that a lot of the people in congress rank and file members are getting cut out of the process and voting,
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we're getting most everyday citizens getting cut out of the process and no surprise that's where we're getting the conflict and gridlock. seems like we get more people involved, mmi8s participating and committee process and offering amendments or if it is voters getting out and voting that things might be getting back to normal. >> as long as the voters see their government is doing something, you know. one of the things if they see nothing happening, they see bills passing although there is more happening than you might think is happening from the media. but i think people do need to see that the system is actually on the level producing results and i think that would also help them in terms of encouraging them to participate. >> probably have a lot of people in this audience who are interested in the last -- and that's the call to public service. we have seen volunteers, rates dropping off, people giving less to charity, seems like the
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citizens are just less engaged. what can we do about that? how do we get people more involved in the government, you served in the military. and long careers in public service and something obviously inspired you both to that. seems like -- >> it was involuntary. called the draft. in my day, when i was your age college and so on every young man was subject to the draft. i was able to get a deferment from the draft by registering for rotc in college which meant i was committing to two years, three years, whatever, as an officer in the air force upon
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graduation. and i was in the air force rotc right up to the point where they gave me a physical. and they said with those eyes you could never be a pilot. your eyesight is too bad. i said i didn't have any intention of being a pilot. and you have other officers in the united states air force that can't fly and they said, we're sorry. we are not going to leave you in rotc. so i got a student deferment but upon graduation i was number one on the list that the draft board was going to call, the next month. so i immediately joined the utah national guard and that was a seven-year commitment to avoid a]-]÷ two-year commitment. and you could say, well, how smart was that?
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well, the guard didn't -- wasn't full seven years. two years was two full years. the guard sent me on active duty for six months and then i had another six and a half years of going to meetings every monday evening and two to three weeks of summer camp. it was a]'t6ñ shared experience with every other young man in the country. when i went and showed up at fort orem, california tork, to go through basic training where they fired live ammunition over your head just to convince you they were serious in my unit of basic training, i had african-americans from the inner city i had southern rednecks from the deep south there were
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a couple of other college graduates along with me who had gotten into the same situation, philosophy major who sat there and talking about what did it mean to be wearing8rf and -- a hired killer. it was a common experience that every young american male had. and you could identify with other young men by virtue of that experience regardless of their other backgrounds. and it was a uniting factor in terms of the american culture. i don't think we appreciate how significant it was in knitting america together. now, i was fortunate enough to have served in the period just after korea and just before
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vietnam. so i never heard a shot fired in anger. but looking back on it i hated it while it was going on. i could hardly wait until it was over. i had a young woman on who i had my eye to become my wife and the six months of active duty, when i came home she was wrapped up with somebody else. and -- >> you did okay, though. >> fortunately. fortunately, and as life would have it, i married to her sister. >> kept it in the family. >> yeah. kept it in the family. and i got the right one.&8 right. i think those kind of shared experiences of service, identification with a cause bigger than yourself focus on
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something other than your own career for a while are enormously valuable. and the more we can find ways to do that, the more we can break down the cultural barriers and some of the political barriers. secretary glickman talks about gerrymandering and he's right but increasingly we're finding that americans are gerrymandering themselves. they kind of gather in communities, they migrate into cities or states or where they te comfortable of their own kind and their own reactions and the experience of somebody growing up in white utah dealing
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with somebody who grew up in black newark new jersey just isn't available to either the utah or the new jerseyite anymore and it is tremendously valuable if you could find some situation, where you are shoulder to shoulder with somebody very different than you are, very different from the community in which you live doing something different than either one of you has as a career goal for a better community purpose. and whatever we can do to find that in a way that is a little less coercive than the draft, i think it would be a very good thing. >> the commission recommends a voluntary kind of national service. so everybody would be encouraged from the ages of 18 and 28 to
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take one year of their life and do either a military or a nonmilitary option. it could be teach for america. it could be americorps. it could be vista. it could be a whole litany of things. or the u.s. military. i personally believe if i were in charge, i would go with mandatory service. not military. mandatory service. either civilian or military. but it is probably not in the cards for -- i don't think the country would go for that even though i believe that what senator bennett talked about is this period of sharing the period of experiencing something outside of your own comfort zone for a while and your life is just incredible. you talk to people who didn't teach for america, are any of you thinking about peace corps americorps, you know, a variety of things it could be a church related -- doesn't have to be
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government, necessarily, related thing, but when you come back i venture to$út÷ say that it changes your life. tom brokaw, the nbc, talks about what made the greatest generation the greatest generation. and, you know, i'm from kansas and we had a member of the greatest generation, a senator and majority leader for many year and his military service had a lot to do with how he viewed life and how he viewed politics and how!ohhñ he viewed sacrifice. and not everybody isç through that type of sacrifice i think it is healthy. i think to be honest with you, this is the most important of the recommendations that the commission makes, even though it is not necessarily legislatively very feasible. because as the senator part points out the power is in the people. and what this recommendation does is says young people need to have common shared experiences beyond just their lives of college and work. and by the way, it could go for
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older people too. but i think as a prokt matter, it needs to start with people who are going through the education system, you know, initially, either after high school or after college. i think it would be a healthy thing fors- america to consider options and alternatives and there say project called the franklin project. it is headed up by general stanley mcchrystal who was the commanding general in afghanistan, and it is run out of the aspen institute. its goal is to get 1 million basically young people between the ages of 18 and 28 into these programs. and give them something for it. give them something like a gi bill of rights or veterans;mg benefits or some way to either compensate them or give them an edge in terms of educational experience, some benefit so that they wouldn't want to do this for free. i don't think people -- i think people need to benefit in some way with this. even though it wouldn't be a lot
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of compensation. >> well i think we'll turn it over now to the audience. if you have questions, there is a microphone here there is one over here,m7jj÷ and folks want to line up and we're ready to take some questions. ykq >> hi, my name is shawn and i'm from the university of san diego. speaking about incentives for congress people to take the long view, take the hard vote, what do you think in your opinion is the best solution to incentivizing individual congress people to take the long view? >> well first of all, nobody is going to do something that deliberately and intentionally causes their loss. that would defy the laws of nature. so i'm from kansas. so if i went up and said we
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programs are bad for this country, i'm going to vote against them my constituents would think i was nuts. okay. because i'm sent there to represent their views their perspectives on as much as i can. i'm also sent up there to use my own judgment as well. and, you know, my judgment is is that philosophically, these jobs were not meant to be permanent jobs. there was meant to be turnover. doesn't mean i believe in term limits, but it means that people have to have a view that country is important, which means taking decisions that not necessarily you'll get 100% agreement from your constituents on everything that you vote on. how to you incentivize that? i think that the system -- always probably tense in that area, in terms of you know i used to do polling used to figure out how my constituents think and ultimately it became personal judgment and my own
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integrity. i'll never forget, i'll give you one example, when i was in the house, bill clinton asked me to vote for nafta, north american free trade agreement. i was pulling -- the polls were 7v$díg 8% no 28% yes. i thought this new mexico>b÷çhcibñ thing is probably right and we're part of one broad america and probably the right thing to do and i thought @ way out of it with myíg$[v constituents anyway. and so i went ahead and voted for it. i also voted for the crime bill in 1994, which had assault weapons and gun restrictions and i thought, well, that#óz6ttgçx÷ was the right thing to do. and guess what? i lost. udall once talked about his -- he ran for president he said the citizens have spoken. i didn't call them that.sj
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i lost. the people have to encourage their members to kind of try to want to do the right thing and recognize that people are really of two minds of this you know, some people say hypothetically they want you to do the right thing, but they really want you to vote what they want you to do at the same time. you're a leader. means you have to sometimes stick your neck out. and there is an old expression, behold the turtle, he never makes progress unless he stick his neck out. and, you know ultimately that's what it comes down to. personal character and encourage and integrity which should be reinforced by the public. >> yeah. fortunately, a large percentage i would say a majority of the members of congress regardless of party try to do the right thing regardless of political consequences. their conscience is sufficiently strong they do that and i tell you this story, t.a.r.p. was
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enormously unpopular, t.a.r.p. was enormously essential. >> might explain t.a.r.p. -- >> you're all too young. this was the decision on the part of the treasury department to pledge $700 billion in support of the financial system. attacked as a bailout for big banks by both the far right and the far left. secretary paulson, secretary of the treasury came before the congress with ben bernanke, the chairman of the federal reserve system and said we have four days before the entire financial system melts down worldwide and
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then bernanke said i have run out of tools. this is the chairman of the federal reserve system saying i have no tools left with which to deal with this challenge. and it is going to -- the only institution big enough to deal with it is the united states treasury and it is going to be a very big number. and we said how big, and he said $500 billion and the next day it was no we were wrong, it is $700 billion. and chris dodd was the chairman of the banking committee. he called me at night and said i want to meet with you tomorrow so we write this legislation. i called senator shelby the ranking member of the banking committee and he said i want no part of it i'm going to vote against it i think it is a
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mistake, call bennett. i was next ranking. i callednjóxpt mcconnell. the leader and said, chris has invited me to this should i go? i want to go. he said, take -- judd gregg with you and we decided to take bob corker as well. so we three republicans walked in and i -- democrats, chris had a couple of democrats dick durbin and barney frank came over from the house along with the ranking republican and we sat down in about a two-hour period we put the bill together that came up with the $700 billion that the treasury needed. there was a lot more details went into it. that was basically it. okay. the house) nancy pelosi said, hey, this is enormously unpopular, the
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republicans are in charge of the house, we'll make the republicans pass it with republican votes so she withheld x number of democratic votes, where upon johnlñ said, i'm not playing that game and he withheld the appropriate number of republican votes and the thing failed. the new york stock exchange lost a trillion and a half dollars in value in the next 20 minutes where upon mcconnell and reid, the two senatorial leaders took the stage and together said that congress was scheduled to recess, we are not recessing until this has been we will see to it --1eñ we'll stand here and the collapse and thega9plj1 stock exchange stopped after reid and mcconnell took their
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stand. and then talking to the house okay nancy pelosi released the democrats she had had held back and boehner said, okay and -- it passed the house, came over to the senate, and we made a few very cosmetic changes to it as a fig leaf for the house so they could say it was right for us to have defeated that version. but we're in favor of this version. this version has a semicolon rather than a comma. so naturally. that background, it is now passing the senate9™h by a comfortable margin has passed the house. chris dodd who lost his seat chrisf4qç dodd the chairman walked across the aisle to gordon smith, senator from oregon, any of you here from oregon?
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and chris said, gordon you are facing a very tough re-election. we all recognize that. we have enough votes to pass this without yours. so i recommend for your re-election in oregon you vote against it. this is a democrat talking to a republican. gordon smith ? hsaid, chris this is the right thing for the country, it is thegc áhing we ought to be doing, i could not live with my conscience if i voted against it. gordon voted for it. gordon lost. that is a deep american tradition. i think it still holds for all of the other stuff we talk
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about, get excited about, this is terrible, hanity goes crazy and sharpton goes crazy and yell at us i think the majority of the members of congress on both side, ultimately are in that position. >> let's go one quick -- two questions at a time. we'll kind of work both through them. >> patrick sweden. senator bennett, i was really touched by your story of -- >> a little louder, please. >> sorry. i was really touched by your story of being shafted by the tea party. i'm just wondering kind of why it's been such a successful and why there isn't a democratic equivalent to this kind of
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political force. >> my question is a little longer. sure. okay. so i think -- >> your name and where you're from. >> my name is eric i'm from university of arizona, from tucson. my question is, i think, that our elected officials don't accurately represent the population. and the population just for women, 52% women and there's only about 15%, 20% women in congress in the senate. do you think this needs addressed? is it even possible to have a much higher mandate of 52% of the seats are even women. but it is possible to encourage wealthy and christian. >> i'm not the wealthy or the christian. but i'm ordinary. [ laughter ] >> and how would you -- what would you recommend -- >> well this is where the
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marketplace has to work. you're not going to mandate how many women are going to be in congress. >> yeah. >> i must tell you, there may be 20% now. it was j1qá10%, 5% years ago. and i wouldn't be surprised if it's 50%. there's a dramatic increase. and it ought to be. and redistributes that so it makes it fairly to those voting in congressional districts tend to be more balanced, more centrist in that process. one thing i urge you to go see is this movie "selma" again, it's a pretty good example of how the votes rights were an important part of the americans political system. one of the problems with the voting rights act, we have
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districts that are compelled to be -- essentially one-race districts. because the voting rights act has tended to put in many parts of the south, all the minorities in one congressional district. so you might be able to get two or three minorities as opposed to one if we kind of read this a little more balanced. but that's my own perspective. but in any event yeah,i=fu i think that you're gradually seeing -- it's still not equal. still not perfect. same thing's true in corporate america. the number of women who are ceos of major corporations but it's really beginning to yé4wciipmove. now, the recruitment. you talk to party, they'll tell you how they're really focusing on female recruitment. and minority recruitment. in your own state you now have a femalev[yky african-american congresswoman, which how many african-americanv3 in utah? probably 2%.
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>> it's very much in the low single digits. the other thing i would directly respond because it's more directed at senator bennett, there was no tea party on the left. there was the occupied america. kind of fell apart. there is elizabeth warren who kind of speaks populous messaging now which maybe that will rise in the next presidential election. i don't really know. my own judgment is that the tea party was borne out of i think, genuine concern about the political system not being responsive. but it just took a radical turn to the right. and it's kind of supporting extremist issues on a lot of issues, and that's troublesome. but maybe, as the senator said, the scariness will turn the party over to the senate. >> we hope so. i think the people are talking about elizabeth warren and saying is she the new ted cruz on the left?
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and of course, heshe was very outspoken in the lame duck. about -- this is terrible. she and ted cruz could have swapped manuscripts and read from each other's and sounded alike. you're too young to realize that the democratic party has had its tea party led by a man named george mcgovern. now, the vietnam war was a huge mistake. and within the democratic party because the vietnam war got its momentum within the democratic party, the first major troop commitment was john f. kennedy. and with significant escalation of the vietnam war was lyndon johnson. and so within the democratic party, a perfectly legitimate protest movement was formed as
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an anti-war protest movement. but it morphed into an anti-american movement. and within the democratic party there was a group formed to try to counterbalance the electoral impact of that. the democratic leadership council, one of who's -- do i have the right name? >> yeah. >> one of whose leaders was a young governor from arkansas named bill clinton. even though he had been a governorite was a college student, he fairly recognized that was a mistake. and he became part of ultimately was the first democrat to win thet12$ñ presidency back after the democratic party has been taken over by the mcgovernites. now, you can say, yeah but jimmy carter won. jimia carter won because of watergate. he had his one term and was
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gone. after this group took control of the democratic party, republicans won five out of the next six presidential elections. all right. the tea party is the mirror image of that, on the republican side. only instead of the war being the thing that triggered it it was a sense of tremendous frustration that government is too big, too expensive, and unresponsive. and those are all perfectly valid criticisms. just the way the vietnam war as a mistake was a perfectly valid criticism on the left. and just as though people under mcgovern went too far in that direction, in the tea party thing, they had gone too far. slipped off the edge of the menu completely into alice in limbo land. and as a result, they've made
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themselves irrelevant to the governing process. and i've said to some of my democratic friends, if we republicans can't contain that, the democrats are going to win five out of the next six presidential elections just the way the republicans did in the mcgovern age. now, he comforted me he said, no, bob, our capacity is screw up is sufficient, which you will win more than that in the elections ahead. but, yeah, we have seen this happen before. and just briefly, on this issue, america is the only place where the candidates are self-selected. if you've read some of the novels of jeffrey archer who is a former member of parliament of great britain, about america it's hilarious when he gets to the nominating process because he describes the nominating
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process in america as if it were the british process. where the party gets to pick who the candidate is. and the heroine in the novel, i forget who it was, is chosen as a group select of party officials to run for the senate in illinois. i'm read this, this is hilarious, that's not wait it is at all. if she wants to run for the senate in illinois, she can run for senate in illinois in america simply by paying the filing fee and she's there. she's on the ballot. and, so, the diversity and the question of balance has a lot to do with how many people are willing to try it. who are of the various groups you are describing. and the party -- yes, the
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recruitment, we've got -- we've tried the recruitment effort in utah for a young woman that would be a very attractive member of congress. and she wants no part of it. for a variety of reasons. we self-select who's going to run. >> but, i would have to say social media and use of modern technology has democratized the american political process. this is something that nobody anticipated 40 years ago. it may be'on of the reasons why you've seen a pretty dramatic upswing in minority and women candidates. it's still not 50% but it's moving up dramatically. that's one great thing about modern technology, it gives more people access to the political system than just having the parties pick the candidates. >> we've got about five minutes left. we'll take two more questions we'll take them both at the same time and we'll wrap them up. >> i'm philip, i'm an
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international student. in most where i grew up we -- >> i can't hear you. >> i'm fj; philip international student for the harvard extension school. at all -- in all of the counties where i grew up we have more than two parties. given how it enchanted the public has become with machine politics, do you believe that a strong third party might emerge? and do you believe that american politics would benefit from more than two parties? thank you. >> go ahead. >> my name is steven ericsson. and my question was related to election reform. you mentioned low turnout in such as what we saw in mississippi with thad cochran would be a good solution? because as you can see there was a more expansive, like, coalition, that helped him win his primary and easily win the general election? because arguably without --
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especially the african-american support the tea party guy, what was his name, mcdaniel, i think, he would have been victorious? >> you're talking about primary rules would allow -- >> yeah. >> i say the california general primary, everybody's name is on the ballot. and the top two go to the general election. should everybody can vote for the top two. one of the top two. gerrymandered districts, the top two are going to be two democrats. and that's why pete stark lost. under the old california system you had the republican who won the republican primary, which in pete stark's district meant nothing. and the democrat who won the democratic primary which was always pete stark. so he was absolutely invulnerable congressman for
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life. they went to the general primary, and the top two names got on the ballot. and it was pete stark and another democrat. and they voted for the other democrat. and i would love to see that in the state of utah. there are many circumstances where it would be two republicans because utah is overwhelmingly republican. but at least democrats would get to choose which republican they preferred. whereas now, they don't have a voice at all. so i would like it to go that that direction. now, you're talking about a third party? >> third party, yeah. >> it's not going to happen. [ laughter ] because back to what i commented on earlier our whole system is based on state law and party rules. there is no federal basis. and state law and party rules have so embedded the two-party system. into the way things are done.
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that at is going to -- it faces a hurdle that is virtually impossible to overcome. >> states should be permitted to experiment with this. in many states, an independent can go in and vote and choose his or her party at the election. and then can revert back to an independent in another party if they want to. but this concept of just a democrat and a republican voting in respective parties maybe is a bygone by bygone era. states ought to be permitted to experiment whether in california or others which i think are healthy. i'm not sure we're not going to have a third party at some point in time. but it's difficult to raise money in this country. it's very difficult to get dollars unless you fit into one of these two political systems. in kansas, we had an interesting race, pat roberts, who is the
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incumbent senator running against an independent. this was the independent leading democrat, he put $5 million or $6 million into his own pocket. and up until two weeks before, the race was even. this is a long-term incumbent. he had been in congress 18 years. he was in the house 18 years before that. he was a good friend of mine, actually. looked like he was losing. then the national party came in they took over his campaign. he was from a bygone era. they put in modern principles and modern communication techniques and they put in moderate amounts of money and they won. and we had an candidate a few years ago, his name was ross perot, before your time. george h.w. bush and bill clinton and ross perot. at one time, it looked like perrot was a factor. then they fizzled. >> he had 40 in the polls.
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>> at one point in time. he talked about aliens and things that didn't sit with the american people too well. but it's difficult. on the other hand if the system isn't responsive to the people, if people don't believe that the parties are looking out for their interests, then you know we've had third parties before. and in fact, our current republican party was at one point a different party and morphed into it. it's possible, but it's not culturally part of the american political system, so it makes it a lot more different. >> thank you. >> all right. thank you. let's thank our panelists. [ applause ]s[#áñ the house has passed the legislation to overturn president obama's immigration actions. and remove protections forc]k the country as children. the measures were part of a $39.7 billion spending bill for the department of homeland security. the vote was 236 to 191. that legislation now goes to the
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senate and faces a veto threat from the president. the house added five amendments to the bill, all dealing with immigration. one to nullify the president's executive actions in november passed 237 to 190. all democrats voted no on the amendment, and they were joined by seven republicans. we're taking your comments on republican use of homeland security funding to stop president obama's executive action on immigration. give us your thoughts on facebook. at facebook.com/c-span. or on twitter using the the #cspanchat. the c-span cities tour takes book tv and american history tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend, we partnered with comcast for a visit to wheeling
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west virginia. >> i wrote these books me and the family, there are two volumes. the reason i felt it important to collect these histories is that wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. and it's kind of uncommon in west virginia, in that it drew a lot of immigrants from various parts of europe here in search of jobs and opportunity. so that generation that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their stories. to get the memories of the immigrant generation. and the ethnic neighborhoods. it's an important part of our history. most people tend to focus on!)a!
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>> wheeling starts as an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states. in the 1770 the first project funded by the federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland maryland to wheeling virginia. and when it comes here to wheeling that will give this community, which about that time is about 50 years old, the real spurt that it needs for growth. and over the next 20 to 25 years, the population of wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturdayg eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3.
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next a discussion with representative david brat of virginia. he addresses thevk"÷ federal spending bill and legislation challenging president obama's immigration executive order which passed the house today. congressman brat defeated house majority leader eric cantor in the republican primary last year. and was sworn into office last november. good afterñki everyone. i'm michelle 9 a2easton president of the claire booth loose policy institute. i want to give a special thanks to our co-host for this monthly event, heritage today is represented by laura truman who is director of strategic operations for heritage. and i want to thank you each for joining us here today. those of you watching on c-span all over america and all over the world. i want to welcome you to the special december edition of the
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conservative women's network. as most of you know, swf usually has focus on a special woman. this year, we're so pleased to have congressman david brat the new united states congressman from virginia. as many of you know, congressman brat defeated former majority leader eric cantor in the primary last summer for virginia's 7th congressional district. he has long believed in the faith, family, he obtained a masters in divinity from princeton theological seminary and then earned a ph.d. in
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economics from american university. in 1996, he began teaching economics and ethics virginia's randolph-macon college where he chaired for six years. he served the commonwealth of virginia in a number of capacities also. he served two governors on the joint advisories panel. also on the richmond metropolitan authority and scholars program. his peers elected him as president of the virginia association economists and the governor also appointed him to the virginia board of accountancy. a man of deep faith, dave attends st. mary catholic church with his wife laura and their two children. please join me in welcoming congressman david brat. >> thank you all for having me, that was a nice introduction, save might throat a little bit. y'all know we've had an exciting
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week. y'all know that, you've all been following the news. i'll get to that after i frame some of my biography and the background as to how i got to where i am. so i'll just kind of break it up into a few pieces. my biography, and then kind of my run for office and where we are at today with republicans and the votes that are coming up that just occurred yesterday and in the week prior. but thank you all very much for having me. it's an honor to be here at heritage, i have been a long time follower at heritage and it's great to be with you here today. so, first of all, my biography is very well captured there, and i kind of usually started my stump speeches over the last ten months try that sometime, ten months of campaigning. ten months stump speeches i basically opened it up and said how would you like to send someone to congress to bring both economics and ethics up to d.c. and that had combination of
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economics and ethics hit the nerve in the country right now because people do get a sense of that we're on the wrong track. and every household in the seventh district, we're offtrack. so i've combined those two themes over a lifetime. i went to hope college in holland, michigan. and then went to work for arthur andersen in business.÷7yk to teach systematic theology and fits in there philosophically. and while i was in seminary, i came down here to wesley seminary for a political semester and there was a guy writing on economics and ethics right, in one book. it's not a punch line, right? and so, i got very interested in that, and a lot of seminary students were interested in social justice. and sometimes, that happens on the left. all right, and that term
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"justice" say tricky $zcoq;ñone, all right. it's got a long pedigree but it's been shaped to end up kind of in the leftist tradition or leftist moral descriptions lately. it has a longer pedigree that features the judeo christian pedigree. so i pursued those themes in seminary and then went on from ó wesley, right up to american university, i said hey i want to pursue these even further through a phd in economics. and american was a great fit because you got the city all around. you can go to interesting talks with world class people across the board every night. and so pursued that through my phd and then i was lucky enough to apply and find a great job down in richmond virginia, and ashland. we call it the center of the universe actually. a very small town in hanover which has been very friendly x+t
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me. but i've been there for the yj?q k 19 years. this would have been my ninth year teaching economics and ethics. i was the chair of the econ and business department, but i also chaired the ethics minor for a new years. john allen over at kato helped me build a program and the moral foundations of capitalism so that kind of puts the two together in the same way, then i got a chance to work in a general assembly for about the last eight or nine years in virginia politics, got to know a lot of how the political system works and then just wasn't happy with some of the things that were going down in my area, in the seventh district, so i put my hat in and the people thought it was good to send an economist up to d.c. so that in short is kind of the biography and who i am and why i ran. but i'll get a little more specific now. when i ran, i ran on the virginia republican creed. how many virginians in here? oh, really?
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very good. how many of you know the hmx virginia republican creed? really. very good. >> it was in economics and it -- >> okay. good. what i'm going to get at today, very good. let me go over that creed with you a little bit. starts off, the first is most important to me, adherence to the free market system, because that one really draws a red line, right? and people in business or whatever even students of economics sometimes don't understand what that means, adherence to the free market system. all of human history, up until w8s 1800 made how many dollars a year per person? $500 about, right? basically subsistence level, for the entire world, for all of human history. and something changed at about
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1800. and what was that? good, very good, adam smith if you want to put a name to it. adam smith, 1776, that was in the works right, the history of ideas for 100, 200 years prior. but society's finally had to choose the free market system. there's always been markets, go back to the ancient greeks and roman where is they have been trading chickens and cows. so we've always had markets. there's always been spice trade and this trade and the other trade. so it's a very different thing, doing business, right, or economics or whatever is very different from choosing socially, your society choosing to have, and run your society by the free market system. that's the big deal. that kind of came hand in hand with other fundamental shifts that had to be in place ahead of time. now, you had to choose the rule of law private property rights, the liberty tradition, you know, coming out of john lock all the way through. in my district, i forgot to
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mention, i am fortunate enough to come from a terrific district that is framed by patrick henry down in the rich monday area all the way to the northwest, james madison in my district. all right. so those are some names that go along with that liberty tra. tradition. and all of this fits more broadly into the judeo christian tradition. i say well it's nice of you all to come around about 1900 with this liberty idea. for the past century, we've been fighting off the huns and all of that. you guys come along lately. right, so i appreciate everything they're doing. i have a lot of good libertarian friends, but there was some heavy lifting for many years to set that up and i think the heritage association is familiar with that long tradition. and so all of that kind of goes together into a narrative that's hard to describe in a sound
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bite. so when you're running for office, right? i'm just on point one, by the way, you can see how long these talks may go. this is point one in the virginia creed. adherence to the free market system. but i'm trying to show you what goes into that bio graphically. about a simple bill that's familiar with the free market, it's hard to put that into an answer. so that's the hard part, but i gave 15 to 20 minute economic homilies, was my stump speech that i gave night after night for ten months. trying to discipline this. i'll just end this little part by saying this is the good news. the republicans, the conservatives have the strongest, best argument for the country right now. what's happened in the last 20 at randolph-macon. when i started teaching, the
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chinese and the indians were making roughly $1,000 per capita 20 years ago. what's happened? what radical choice has been made in the last 20 years that's made all the difference for global poverty reduction and improvement in people's lives and what isn't? the chinese and the indians have chosen the free market system. and the irony of ironies is while they're choosing the free market system, the united states of america is choosing to backtrack, right? we're clogging the arteries at every turn obamacare. regulatory overreaches of $1.5 trillion, et cetera. we can go over and over and over ,elrju and so that's good news, right? the public policy choice of choosing the free market system. the human welfare games in economic terms you have the harbinger efficiency terms, whatever. that choice to choose the free market system dwarfs all the public policy decisions globally
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by ten times over, right? the welfare game. and our side has a hard time explaining this to the average voter, to the average american, to the average global citizen that this system is good for humanity, period. right? and i went to seminary, so i believe that 7 billion to 8 billion people on this planet are all children of god. i try to make that very clear. especially when you start get immigration arguments and all of that. those can get a little testy. but the basic frame work and the basic logic is there from the beginning. and i want what is best for the entire world. all of god's children and christmas is coming up. merry christmas to all of you in advance. that's what i tried to do. there's number one. i'm going to go through the rest of the creed real quick. second is equal treatment under the law. everyone's equal under the law. third rule is fiscal responsibility, at all levels of the government, federal, state, local. fourth adherence to the constitution. i just had had a tough few days trying to stay true and vote on
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that, right, adherence to the constitution. the presidential overreach on amnesty, executive amnesty, that wasn't just a simple public policy choice, right? at the margin about dollars and cents and policy differences. the reason that was such a big deal to me is because of this fourth point in the republican creed. right? adherence to the constitution and to constitutional principles. i think that end run violated constitutional principles and that's why i stuck very firm to the votes on that issue over the last couple of days. fifth, peace is best preserved through a strong national defense. ronald reagan's on the walls out here. so i know you all get that one. and sixth, finally a lot of times not mentioned in public policy circles, faieb recognized by our founders absolutely is essentialo to a
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strong moral fiber. that's a big deal. all the presidents i have been reading since everyone's sending me carts of books on prayers of the presidents. you go back and you read the basic books, the basic speeches of the founding generation, the great people we all revere in this room. and they were not ashamed or bashful about it. they didn't wear it on their sleeve, also though. they weren't pushing it on people, right? there's a separation of church and state, no establishing the church. but part b of that is absolute free expression of your faith as part of the freedoms baked into our constitution and the first amendment. and so, a lot of people were very much attracted to that. and that kind of frames the economics and the ethics.á0ngñ just in a nutshell, some of the biggest problems we have in the country, under bullet point 3 is fiscal responsibility. the debt on the debt clock is $18 trillion. if you go to the bottom of that
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debt clock there's a bigger number. unfunded liabilities $107 trillion. right. medicare and social security are all insolvent by about 2024 or so. so to preserve those for seniors, much less the next generation, and i see a bunch of you sitting out here, we better get on it. and i don't know if it's really technically a difficult economic problem we need to solve or it's more ethical it's the political will to engage in those very tough problems in those entitlement programs. it seems to me it's the latter. political will to engage in those entitlement programs. those are the pledges we ran on. people from every county to term limit myself to 12 years, and i pledged to put in a fair or a flat tax. and so a few specific pledges as well. that's the basic frame work that i ran on. and so over the past month i have tried to vote, along with those principles, the press
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always has -- they don't quite believe me. they say, how are you going to vote on this? i said, well, i laid it out very clear. i voted on these six principles in the republican creed, and i'm going to vote on those principles and really that's what i'm going to try to do. and the people back home will keep me honest, i think, and help me to do that. how am i doing on time? >> keep going. >> are you with me for a few more minutes? that's who i am? that's the race those are the principles i ran on. and this week voting and being up here, i'll just kind of -- i've been here only a month. i got sworn in. once you get that thing, you know you're in. so i was up here with 50 of the rookies, the congressmen and women in my entering class so we
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got to know each otheho cf1 o was a great experience. and the press says what's the most unexpected part of being up here, and i think it's been the warmth and graciousness of the other members, right, the freshman group, democrats, republicans were together. so the first two weeks we all had events every night and on some of the issues constitutional issues public policy, how does congress work and that kind of thing, that was great. and the senior members of congress also, where you have to go up -- and i'm just like you, a regular citizen. picture going up to the podium and looking out at the regular congress you that see every day and have to give a speech right after they swear you in. all right? put yourself in those shoes. so the entire virginia delegation came behind me and was very gracious to me and the rest of the senior members made me feel very welcome. so that truly was unexpected as to how i was received so i'm very thankful and i'll just kind of leave it at that.
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and then while i was orienting, my predecessor stepped down early and that was a gracious move on his part. so i got to start off not only going through freshman orientation but also serving as a member of congress. so that was a lot to learn quick. right, setting up offices, staffing up and all that kind of thing. you go from the campaign side to the general side. and so we had to do all of that and then i had to talk votes, so the tax extender vote came up, that was a tough one. you're faced with a tough choice. right, i wasn't in on the framing of the whole piece and so you've got a tough choice. put yourself in a member's shoes. if you don't vote for it, taxes go up on all my constituents, if you do vote for it 20% of it was wind. right? conservatives don't like picking winners and losers and a lot of people back in my district don't like it.
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and i don't like that. so that was a tough vote. so i voted for that package because i thought the overall net was positive. then the land program came up. and the greatest -- greater issue there was, i don't want our defense authorization bill cluttered with other pieces. because eventually if you follow that authorization with this, that and the other thing, that's eventually going to hold our defense funding hostage, in some way, shape or form, you know it's coming, right? so on principle, i try to the separate that one. and on the omnibus, we all were pushing for a short-term cr, so that our senate on the republican side could be in a better bargaining position coming up in january or february. and that didn't happen. the only any -- omni went
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through. and a group of 75 senators tried to put an amendment on that omnibus bill to restrict the president's overreach on the executive amnesty. and so we went to rules and rules had made already kind of a stated position that they weren't going to accept any amendments and so i was disappointed in that process, when your new member, not having the chance at all, right, a 1,600-page bill comes up, you have to reed it in a day or two, you find out it doesn't deal with fundamental things you ran on. then you have to deal with writing an amendment, and the amendment piece is closed off, because the time is so shortened, we have one day left and we're going to vote on it. that amendment went down, and in because of that the rules didn't allow that, the next day, i voted no on the rule for the bill, as well as voting no for the bill itself. issue, there were plenty of >ú#tr(t&háhp &hc% other policy issues i differed
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there, but the overriding logic was linked to the unconstitutional part of the executive overreach. and so from there, and i'll close it out and be happy to take questions from all of you. but if you're interested in following me, obviously and the people of my district go to dave brat.com and share ideas with us, and i'm going to try and put out economic papers, white papers, weekly that summarize my voting position, maybe daily if we can do that. my chief is over here, so i offer them work by the wheelbarrow full by the day. i said go do this, and go do that and we'll see what we can do. but i would obviously love to do that and share our economic logic because that's kind of of
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the important part where your voters understand how are you voting. what's the logic behind your vote? and then i am to the only economist in the house, and so i would love to be able to start doing some economic education, my stump speech for 10 months, i would ask audience after audience, 50 to 100 people, every night, have you ever heard the number $127 trillion, and the answer is no, no idea. so if that's the country's biggest issue, which i think it is numerically, clearly, it is there's no bigger top finance and that's in the book. although i won't tell you the name of the professor who wrote that book. any guesses -- see if you're educated? -- gruber -- oops. so $127 trillion, right, and no one knows that number. that's a problem, and what's the problem? it's an education problem, right? our country does not know that that number is coming due and that's just the unfunded pieces of liability, that's not the cost of the program.
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that's just the unfunded liabilities that we promised in law, and that's two-thirds of the budget. the nondiscretionary part you that can't touch unless you change the law. and that two thirds is growing so you're left with one-third that includes the military. and the military's being pinched and everything's being pinched. and i think you all know the state governments are being pinched and that trickles down to the local levels that are being pinched. and that's the context, in that context, everybody knows the bottom line is there's no money that's going to be falling from the clouds any time soon. it's game over. so now we are going to be in an era of scarcity for the last 10 or 15 years. how do you know that? what's the gdp growth rate for the united states right now? 2% subpar. and the productivity levels, "wall street journal" just had the last five years of u.s. productivity is also subpar.
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and your economy is roughly your education level times the number of people you have, your product sift. and how is that looking? how are we doing in education compared to the chinese and indians, engineers s.t.e.m. fields and all that kind of thing? not so hot. so the economic growth forecast for the next 10 to 20 years is not right either. we need to turn that all around. i'm an opt myself, you've got reagan on the wall out there, and he had tough economic times when he came in so it can be done. i think i better end there while i'm on a positive note. so that's a little optimism. it can be done. i didn't say how. have me back and we'll get at it. thank you very much for having me today, it's an honor to be here. >> a few questions. >> yeah absolutely. >> thank you so much. we have time for a few questions, we have laurel conrad here, who just graduated from cornell, she's the new lecture director at the institute. heritage intern, sorry.
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>> yep. >> if you would give your name and affiliation because we're on c-span, and we want everybody to hear your question. wait for the mike. >> yes, ma'am. we'll get you a mike. >> thank you, i'm barbara bowie whitman. and as an economist who is a republican because i believe in individual liberty and free market principles. i'm glad to hear you. now, i have a couple of questions and i'm going to cheat and sneak them in. the first one is procedure going forward, but the other part is left over from last night. the procedure going forward has to do with can we get a good, solid economist who believes in the right things to head the cbo and do dynamic scoring? second question is from last night. i got an e-mail from ken cuccinelli saying that you were the only republican from virginia who had voted right. and it stated that there was no
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way we could fix what happened last night because of this rule because it would allow the president -- the president going forward to do exactly what he wanted already with the amnesty provisions. there's got to be a way to fix it, even though it sounds horrible. and in politics, we all know when we're trying to get people excited, say that the worst has already happened. how do we get out of what happened last night. >> i'll start with number one, yes is the short answer. that will help a little bit but that doesn't get you to the $127 trillion. so i won't get too optimistic on that. we'll do better than that. i'm trying to get on the joint economic committee as well so we can work in tandem on some of those issues. then on ken's e-mail, i saw that. and i will put the whole omnibus piece in a broader context so you can understand. so, i just came up here.
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i wasn't involved in the process going through. so for sitting members it's harder because they're on certain committees and they have certain pieces in that omnibus that they're shepherding through and they believe in, right? i came through in some ways easier than that. i ran on constitutional principles, stood my ground and that's it. the omnibus was not the republican method on the other side. in place. other members i know have strong concerns on that. but the broader context was the omnibus was not our chosen method on the republican side right? the failure, and we discussed this at length in the rules committee, we were in there four hours in a row on wednesday evening. and the failure came on the senate side in the democrat
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chamber. they would not take up any appropriations bills, right? they just wouldn't take them up. so that failure of working through the normal process, regular order, failed not due to us. paul ryan over the past year has always put in a budget. the democrat senate has not. everyone says, dave, are you going to go up there and work across the aisle and compromise and all this kind of thing. i'm not against compromise. i'm all for compromise. we have compromise, $127 trillion now. were have to compromise how to reduce the debt 127 trillion down. but we're in a very tough spot and we were forced into that amna bus pack amount and there's a lot of moving pieces. and i don't pretend as the rookie up here to know all of that. and so, i know the members from virginia, they're all of fine character and i think we're
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going to do the right thing in the rules committee and the speaker did promise that they will address the issue early in january and that the amend would be attached to the defense piece going forward, right? so it was a matter of a lot of moving pieces. i said no just on the constitutional piece. that if you know something is illegal, i don't want to move forward at all. amendment -- >> yes. those of us on the republican side put an amendment in that were stopped of the pieces in the military bill on homeland security. and so we stripped -- all of his -- the executive overreach had, you know 10 or 12 pieces to it. so we defunded all 10 or 12 of
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those pieces specifically. >> and on the amnesty part how is the defunding of amnesty? >> and that's in there. that's what it was defunding. any of the administrative pieces any of the social security card funding. any of the administration underneath there we defunded. who else? yes, ma'am. >> wait for the mike, please. >> oops. sorry. >> my name is gabby from the heritage foundation. i just wanted to know what your thoughts are on including something against obama's executive action on immigration in the current lawsuit that the house filed against president obama. >> well, i'm not an expert -- i'm not -- i'm an economist, i'm not a lawyer so that's my pre-remark. that's where our other members in the virginia delegation will come in on that piece. but i'm in favor right, moving
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across all fronts right? the legislative piece, the funding piece. the judicial piece. the judiciary piece. so i don't have too much in the way of specifics to offer you on that, other than to say i want to do all of the above other than the timing on it, which piece is going to be most effective. but already, you know in virginia, there's 1,000 federal positions already funded and in place, and they're already getting the green cards going, the social security cards are pe1&xt!6ç already in process and that's the downside to the omnibus funding t(úzv through the end of february, right, i think the obama executive action had a 50-day limit on it and we go beyond that. so at the end of that 50 days, everything can be executed, and that's why i'm concerned. and that's why i voted no. i wanted some solution prior to that 50-day cutoff.
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and the piece you're talking about, the lawsuit, will probably take longer than that. about the time it it works its way through. any other questions,; >> my name is eva hundley. in the new congress coming up do you see congress working with president obama or president obama working with the republicans? >> i don't know if i want to pick a direction, but i will say i hope we do work together on the big piecesing -- pieces, right? anddunkh5d had economics class, anybody? you're supposed to rank your preferences in or the. the goal is maximumization whatever. i'll just say if you're thinking economically, you need to put the biggest pieces, the most important pieces in rank order and go down those in order. right. so president obama on the republican side, i don't think there's any way to deny the $127
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trillion number. everybody knows that's number one. right? and then the debt piece. the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said when i asked what's the greatest threat to our military? he said the u.s. debt, right? so people of goodwill on both sides, there are ways to solve the problem. and the third issue that i would put in there that i think the democrats and republicans can clearly work on is education. right. i am hoping to be on the education committee. that's a bipartisan issue. it's clear we're not succeeding. the u.s. on test scores, international test scores is underneath the median score, right? we're toward the bottom. in the steelindustrialized world we're towards the bottom in math in test scores.a;j there's no way we can complete in this global economy. that doesn't begin to talk about
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the fact that our kids don't know what a business is. we're kind of in the medieval, right, post-world war ii manufacturing kind of world view. instead of the world being in this global economy world view. and things have to change dramatically. we have a monopoly in k through 12. kids have to be trained -- they don't know what a business is. they don't know what an entrepreneur is. they're learning math and science, but if you're not taught what business is we have a major problem on our hands. so businesses are complaining about the workerforce skills process. we can do something about that. the businesses coming into the schools at the seventh and eighth grade level to help shape the curriculum to skill the kids to work that those companies. i think that's a model that were have to look at. and it doesn't cost any money believe it or not. that's a nice model. you skill up kids to work for a
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company in your own area. 40% of college kids, i think today, can't find a job in the area they majored in. 40%. so that's a big deal. and i didn't get into the amnesty issue. but that's why -- that's one of the reasons i'm pretty tough on that issue. i don't want any more short-run band aid solutions, right? so when you have a labor force problem. and our economy is not back to, you know, normal steady state growth by any means. and the worst part of the economy is the labor market. so how do you solve that? we need to skill up our own kids, right? and get our economy moving again. the answer is not to ignore the real problem we have and import 10 million folks from abroad. that's not an answer for any country, right. we clearly can't hold 8 million people. people want to talk about this 5 million or 10 million. that's not the problem. the problem is we need free
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markets for 8 billion people on the planet to get the whole world growing. that's what we did after the war where the japanese and germans are archenemies, right? we propped them up with a marshal plan we learned from world war i how not to do it. and now they're our friends, right? we turned archenemies into our friends. that's our goal. that's what we have to do. so immigration if my mind sort of stands for that short-run band aid approach where businesses look for short-term earnings. and that logic is putting our country in eye aterrible hole. that short-run mentality. i used to put in my stump speech, right, the ceos in the country right after world war ii, as general motors go so the nation goes. right? that was the logic. the ceos knew they implicitly involved in charting the gdp growth for the nation and they had a social and
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economic responsibility to do that. we can make our money over there. we can make money over here. right? so individually, corporately, they do okay. but it's not tied back to the u.s. gdp growth rate. right. and the welfare of the country as a whole. we have to all get back to thinking about that. that's a long hf-wind -- sorry about that. >> maybe i'll ask a question. most of the colleges and universities, and we have some students here that could attest most of the professors are liberal and left wing with wonderful exceptions of course. i was curious the reaction of your fellow professors at your college when a freedom-oriented, liberty-talking professor like you was elected to congress. what did they all say? >> i can't say that on live tv.
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[ laughter ] i'll just put it out. they're already. they're collegiate. at lunch, we used to debate all the time. so we had fun. the left gets more mad at you the more effective you get. when i got this effective, they weren't happy with it. right. i challenge my liberals right? if y'all want to have fun with liberals some day. it's a fun thing to do. i enjoy it. go to the lunch table and ask them where the word "liberal" comes from? any guesses, scholars? lint, right? so the liberal tradition of which they're apart. if you want to go deeper, right get into what ethics will you name? what ethics are you teaching to the kids? there's no such thing as ethic. there's jewish, christian it has to be a frame of thought.
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it's almost criminal, right, that kids coming out of the k to 12 system had no idea what ethics it at all. no awareness of the judeo-christian tradition. i'm not particular on pushing one tradition on others but that's what it is open minded to all systems of thought. and i teach a justice course at the school which starts with socrates then plato and aristotle, et cetera. goes up to john ralls, milton freeman and all folks in the modern period. that's the liberal arts education, most kids coming out of school aren't familiar at all with that tradition. aren't graduated from colleges. we need to reinvigorate -- some of the best universities have no curriculum whatsoever. kids 18 years old,02vu i guess are so wise they can choose their life plans ahead of time.
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i'm a conservative, i don't really buy that theory of education. >> well, we want to give you a couple gifts to thank you. >> thank you. >> for coming by. we're sure glad you're up there on capitol hill talking us. at the claire booth institute policy we promote conservative women who believe as you do. >> good. >> this is our 2015 calendar with some of the great women who have spoken for us in the past year. we also have a mug. you're going to appreciate this. this is a famous saying. read it. >> no good deed goes unpunished. thank you, thank you. thank you. >> yes. go ahead. >> we also from the heritage found day, you'll love this gift. it: atzñ should be right on your as opposed to way over on the bookshelf. it's the heritage guide to the institution. >> there you go. good. let me show everybody that one. uh-oh it's heavy. more light reading this evening. thank you all very much for having me. thank you very much.
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>> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> we have a tote bag so can you put all your stuff in here. everybody needs a tote bag. >> am i still on tv? i always forget to thank my wife. give a round of aplus to my wife, laura. the house has passed legislation to overturn president obama's immigration actions and remove protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. the measures were part of a $39.7 billion spending bill for the department of homeland security. the vote was 236-191. the legislation now goes to the senate and faces a veto threat from the president.
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also an amendment to block the president's executive order on immigration passed 237-190. and an amendment to block the childhood immigration program passed irma218-209. here's part of today's floor w debate leading up to the votes. la >> mr.un chairman, i rise in strong op pigs to this poison ove im pill amendment which is a polic laundry list of attacks on anything the executive branch has done to improve immigration and border secure policy.hern bor it indicatore caters to every element of the republican conference. eff it would defund our southern border and approaches campaign to unify border efforts. it would defund employment based immigration and bring sighly f skilled workers intoam our country. it would defund the policy to parole in place family members u.s. of mil citizens or lawful permanent residents who seek to enlist in the u.s. military.
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awe policy supported by the department of defense.ght to incredibly it would defund the department's provision of legall temporary relief to individuals c who are broughtt. to this country illegally as children.ns those covered by the dream act. and to the parents of u.s. policy citizens who meet certain criteria. of course, it would pri defund the secretary's policy of s immigration enforcement priorities. ever y prosecutor in this country exercises some level of discretion to make the most of limited resources. to we want our police to pursue il murderers over traffic violate ers. we should also want mmdhs to enforce on illegal immigrants who pose a threat to our communities. but in the face ofac house republicans' failure to act, the president has taken well-considered steps, each of wishe them well ground in his legal se
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authority.nd but an option of this amendment would sabotage the homeland u security funding bill and this undermine our nation's security at a time of great danger. gentl i urge colleagues to oppose thisgnized. amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. is >> gentleman p reserves. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like at thisativ point to recognize the majority leader of the house representatives and thank him for his leadership andyielding yield to him one minute to speak. >> the gentleman from california is recognized. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding.out hi mr. speaker, when the president 2 was asked about his deportation obama policy early in 2013, mr. speaker president obama not th said, quote, i'm the president of the united states of america.xecute i'm not the emperor of the united states. my job is to execute laws that
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are passed.er, a few days earlier he said he mr. speaker, and i quote i'm not a king. i'm the head of an executive branch of government. i'm required to follow the law. 22 times, mr. speaker, the , mr. president saidsp he couldn't a has ignore immigrationdo laws and sa create new laws by himself. but now, mr. speaker president obama has done exactly what he no said he could not do. what changed between then and -- now. our nothing. our constitution isct exactly the same and congress still retains the sole power to legislate.>+ mr. speaker, presidents do not have the right to rewrite any law in any instance.plic the fact is explicitly clear in regards to immigration. actually, when it comes to immigration supreme court stated and i quote over no
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conceivable subject is the a ba legislative powertt of congress more complete. this is not a battle between democrats and republicans.speaker or a battle between pro-immigration or anti-immigration. it doesn't matter whether, mr. speaker, you like the no results of what the president did or not.boult this is about resisting the assault on democratic government and protecting the constitutional separation of powers. and let me be clear. this bill funds the entire department of homeland security.one qu so that is not an issue here.wea so when we vote today, there is only one question to ask. do we weaken our constitution by defe allowing the executive to legislate, or do we defend the most fundamental laws of our democracy? there is no middle ground. i yield back. >> now that congress has gaveled out, house and senate republicans are meeting in
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hershey, pennsylvania, thursday and friday for their first joint retreat in ten years. they'll be strategizing on how to work together while republicans control both houses of congress for the next two years. reuters reports comedian jay leno and former british prime minister tony blair will speak at the retreat. senate democrats will be in baltimore for their retreat today through thursday. news reports say president obama will be there, but they don't say when. senate minority leader reid will not attend. doctors have advised him to continue to work from home while he recovers from an exercising accident. house democrats are holding their retreat later this month in philadelphia. the c-span city tour takes book tv and american history tv on the road, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend we partnered with comcast for a visit to wheeling west virginia. >> i wrote these books "the
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wheeling family." there are two volumes. the reason i thought it was important to collect these histories is that wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. and it's kind of uncommon in west virginia in that it drew a lot of immigrants from various parts of europe here in search of jobs and opportunity. so, that generation that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their stories, to get the memories of the immigrant generation and the ethnic neighborhoods they formed. it's an important part of our history. most people tend to focus on the frontier history, the civil war history. those periods are important but of equal importance in my mind is this industrial period and
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the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in the 1770s. the first project funded by the federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland, maryland, to wheeling, virginia. and when it comes here to wheeling that will give this community, at that time is about 50 years old, the real spurt it needs for growth. and over the next 20 to 25 years the population of3?tx wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on
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american history tv on c-span3. next the supreme court hears oral argument in young versus united parcel service a case on employer accommodations for pregnant employees. peggy young is a former u.p.s. driver who was denied a light-dult assignment during her pregnancy. she took extended unpaid leave and lost her employer medical coverage. after giving birth she sued under the 1978 pregnancy discrimination act. this is an hour. >> we'll hear argument 121226 young versus united parcel service. mr. bagenstos >> may it please the court, if peggy young had sought accommodation for a 20-pound lifting restriction that resulted from any number of conditions, whether acquired on or off the job, the summary judgment record reflects u.p.s. would have granted that accommodation. but because peggy young's

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